World Asthma Day Raises Awareness Of Pest-Related Health IssueNPMA Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
World Asthma Day, observed May 6th during Asthma Awareness
Month, highlights a significant health issue facing many American
families. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
reports that 22 million Americans, including 6.5 million children,
suffer from asthma. This respiratory disease not only results
in over 2 million ER visits each year but, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood
Institute, accounts for $16 billion in healthcare expenditures
and lost productivity.
Although there are various disease triggers, the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Pest Management
Association (NPMA) concur that the presence of pests, notably cockroaches and rodents, is a leading trigger,
especially in children.
"With the EPA's estimation that Americans spend 90% of their
time indoors, it is imperative for homeowners to recognize the
health threats associated with pests in prompting asthma attacks,"
says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.
"We fully support the EPA in its effort to raise awareness of
asthma triggers, particularly the presence of pests."
Cockroaches spread nearly
33 different kinds of bacteria and six kinds of parasitic worms. As
cockroaches crawl through sewage, they can pick up and spread germs
on the spines of their legs and bodies. Mice are capable of
dropping up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year, an estimated 70
times each day, which can trigger allergies and spread disease,
NPMA experts offer these tips to help homeowners prevent pest
- Vacuum often to eliminate pest allergens.
- Dispose of garbage regularly.
- Keep food in sealed containers to prevent contamination.
- Properly ventilate basements and crawl spaces to eliminate
- Seal cracks, holes and space around utility pipes that lead
into the home.
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